It seemed as if the sky itself was crying as rain violently lashed against my windshield. The loud pitter-patter of the raindrops drowned out all other noise. My windshield wipers violently moved back and forth but my vision remained obscured by this endless deluge.
I continued to dial Murong Mingyue’s number as I drove but every single one of my calls failed to connect, which only added to my anxiety.
Thunder rumbled as lightning flashed in the horizon, looking like sharp, forking blades that could rend apart both heaven and earth. Every time lightning arced through the sky, it illuminated an entire area, leaving people gasping in awe of the majestic might of Mother Nature.
I heard the discordant cacophony of multiple car horns blaring before I even saw what was happening. There was a jam in front of me and it was only then that I realized that I had reached the entrance to the expressway. A huge LED signboard was lit up with ominous words that seemed to resonate with my anxiety:
"A small part of the road caved in 5 kilometers ahead and caused a traffic accident. Proceed with utmost caution."
My eyebrows knit together as I began to fervently pray that Murong Mingyue was okay. For all I knew, she could’ve just been held up by this traffic accident, her phone network cut off by this violent thunderstorm.
However, I still took out my card and entered the expressway. I wasn’t able to set my worries aside.
The X12 cut through the howling wind like a bolt of lightning. Rain continued to fall against my car like a hail of bullets, the sound only worsening the anxiety in my heart.
Before too long, I suddenly saw the glaring strobe of harsh lights in front of me. Red and green chaotically intermingled in the darkness, causing my eyes to squint reflexively. Those were the lights of a traffic accident lamp. As expected, something happened here.
I immediately stepped on the brakes and stopped the X12 on the shoulder of the road. I grabbed an umbrella and practically flew out of the car. When I got closer, I saw that there was only one traffic police car parked in the middle of the expressway. A sinkhole about one and a half meters long had appeared in the road in front of the police car and it interfered with both sides of the traffic.
What was even worse was that two dump trucks carrying a full load of dirt had collided with a trailer truck on the opposing lane. The two dump trucks had been knocked on their sides and all of the dirt they were carrying had spilled on the road. The sudden collision had also caused several collisions behind them when cars desperately jammed their brakes to keep from colliding with the dump trucks. Some people might have even died in the huge car crash.
A lot of cars stopped on the shoulder of either side of the expressway. The drivers kept their car lights on to illuminate the area as many people stepped out with umbrellas in their hands.
"Why did a sinkhole appear here again? Didn’t the government already fix everything in 2012?" someone asked.
Those words drew an immediate and derisive response. "Hmph, shoddy roadworks as usual…"
"Did anyone die? There are a lot of small vehicles that crashed into each other because of the collision. Man, it’s been so long but the ambulance hasn’t even come yet! What the hell is dispatching one traffic police car going to do?"
"It’s so late now and the ambulance definitely needs some time to respond. Who knows what time it’ll arrive…"
I walked onto the strip of grass separating both sides of the road before I hoisted myself over the railing in the middle of the grass strip. I walked over to where the dump trucks had fallen as I checked out the cars which had collided into each other.
A Toyota Camry, nope...
A Honda, nope...
A BMW, nope...
A Buick, still no...
As I inspected all the cars which had collided with each other, I couldn’t find the A8 that Murong Mingyue normally drove. I felt the tension bleed out of my body. Whew, it looks like Sis Mingyue didn’t get caught up in this accident. That’s great…
However, it was at this moment that a part of one of those huge dirt mounds collapsed to reveal the rear of a car that had been buried underneath it. Under the glaring lights, I could actually see the car’s license plate. To my utter horror and shock, I realized that I was looking at the back of a red Audi with a "555" license plate.
A sharp pain stabbed into my heart as the umbrella fell from my nerveless fingers and was blown away by the wind. I suddenly launched myself into the dirt mount, my hands frantically scrabbling against the cold, hard dirt.
"Is that kid crazy?" someone yelled from the side.
All of the noise around me was drowned out by the sound of pouring rain and blood rushing in my ears. I bent down to scoop up the dirt and mud with my arms, the rain soaked me through. The icy-cold rain actually set my heart ablaze with urgency and worry.
God knew how long Murong Mingyue had been buried under this pile of dirt! Please be okay! Please be okay!
A piercing pain shot through my body but I couldn’t tell if it was my aching heart or the pain of having my fingernails ripped off by this hardened dirt. Before I even knew it, blood was trailing down my arms in small rivulets. There was some glass and metal mixed in with the dirt and they had left bloody scratches on my hands and arms. However, the pain in my arms would never be able to compare to the stabbing pain in my heart. Murong Mingyue’s obstinate words rang incessantly in my ears as I desperately clawed at the dirt. "I wanna go home!"
In the next instant, tears streamed down my face as I collapsed on top of the dirt pile and started to cry. "I’m gonna bring you home. Murong Mingyue, I’ll definitely bring you home!"
A middle-aged man shouted from behind me, "Hey kiddo, stop digging, the whole thing is about to spill over!"
A pile of moist dirt fell right on top of me before he had even finished speaking. Ugh, this was the second time I felt the sensation of being buried in dirt, and let me tell you, it definitely wasn’t an enjoyable experience.
I desperately flailed my arms to push aside the dirt that had fallen on top of me before I continued to dig.
A group of people stared at me dumbfoundedly before one of them finally managed to whisper, "This kid… There’s definitely someone very important to him in that car…"
Those words broke everyone out of their stupor. Someone immediately yelled, "So what are we waiting for!? Let’s go help him! Someone’s life is at stake!"
Many people surged forward to help clear away the mud and dirt. I barely even registered their help as I continued to dig away at the hard dirt. As my fingers burned with pain, they suddenly jabbed into something that felt cool and smooth. That was the window of the A8.
My actions grew even more frenzied as I threw dirt out of the way frantically. I managed to clear a palm-sized space around the window but everything else was still covered in the dirt. My heart burned with anxiety as I desperately pushed the dirt aside and continued digging. Soon, half the window was exposed and as I brushed away the dirt that obscured the glass, I saw Murong Mingyue lying against the steering wheel. To my horror I saw a line of fresh blood trickle down her face and stick to her long hair.
"Sis…" I gasped. I felt as if a knife had been stabbed into my chest.
The car had been sealed up for too long so there might not be any oxygen left in the car. When I realized that, I immediately balled my hand into a fist before I suddenly sent it crashing into the side of the window without caring whether I got hurt. I heard a small "bang" and saw that a shattered dent had been knocked into the glass. The enhancement my body had undergone because of the virus seemed to have some lasting consequences. At the very least, my bones still seemed strengthened, and my physical strength was nothing short of extraordinary.
I rained down a few more blows before I finally broke open a hole in a corner of the window. The icy rain started leaking into the car and quickly started to drip onto Murong Mingyue.
"Mingyue, hurry up and wake up! Hurry up and wake up, Murong Mingyue!!" I desperately yelled through the window, tears leaking from my eyes.
However, Murong Mingyue didn’t move a muscle. The rain was dripping down her long hair and had drenched her white blouse and her coffee-colored suit jacket.
The people who had been trying to dig the car free fell silent. It was as if everyone had realized what had happened. Murong Mingyue’s car had been right behind those dump trucks, so who knows what the massive impact from the collision might have done to her...
The Audi’s door was jammed but I still desperately pulled against it. I was using my legs to push the dirt away from the car door as I yelled in a hoarse voice, "Murong Mingyue, can you hear me!? You’d better wake up right now! It’s no time to be sleeping! Did you forget your promise? You said you’d bring me home, right? Right now, everyone is at home waiting for you… You can’t just keep sleeping so irresponsibly, you dumbass!"
I fell to my knees in despair. The heavy drops of rain stuck against my face and they seemed to be draining all of the strength from my body. As I let my head hang in anguish, I clenched my teeth angrily. Tears of regret leaked from my face. If I had chosen to accompany Murong Mingyue to Hangzhou, maybe none of this would have happened.
Fresh blood flowed from between my fingers as I let out soft sobs. I slowly lifted an arm to claw away at the icy dirt blocking the door. No matter what, I had to open the door and bring her home...
My head jerked up as I suddenly realized something! Murong Mingyue had already taken off the safety belt! There were quite a few scrapes and bruises on her face and her blood had hardened against her skin, but her beautiful eyes were staring fixedly at me and tears had started to leak out of them. She seemed on the verge of total collapse as she sobbed in a soft voice, "Lu Chen, you stinky brat…"
Joy surged through my heart as I stared at Murong Mingyue. "You… You’re okay?"
Murong Mingyue’s tears poured down like the rainstorm around us as she sobbed, "I’m fine, you’re crying…"
I quickly turned around and rubbed my eyes. Then, I managed to croak out in a quavery voice, "I’m not crying, it’s only the rain… Why would I even cry in the first place? You’re seeing things…"
A shudder ran through Murong Mingyue’s shoulders as she continued crying. "Yeah, no one is crying…"
Finally, we managed to open the car door and I carried Murong Mingyue from out of the car. Her blouse had been stained red by blood and I didn’t know just how bad her injuries were.
The group of people who had helped me broke out into heartfelt grins and someone even ran over to hold an umbrella over Murong Mingyue.
As I carried Murong Mingyue in my arms, I quickly scanned the area. The ambulance still hadn’t come and only the heavens knew when it would actually arrive.
I carefully placed Murong Mingyue against the side of the railing before I flipped over it and picked her up again from the other side. There weren’t too many cars heading toward me, so I quickly dashed to the X12 and gingerly placed Murong Mingyue inside the passenger seat.
"Wait a moment…"
Murong Mingyue weakly clutched at my arm before she pointed toward the buried A8. She said, "Lu Chen, the preliminary agreement that I signed with Hangzhou’s Tenglong Company is inside my bag. We need to retrieve that bag at all costs. It’s more important than the car…"
I could clearly see that the front of the A8 had been completely totalled. It would probably have to be scrapped. We wouldn’t be able to salvage it even if we wanted to. We would be better off buying a new one than trying to repair it.
I hurried back to the Audi and found Murong Mingyue’s bag. I also managed to retrieve her favorite Tang Yurou figurine from the car as well. Now, there was nothing left in the car that had anything to do with Murong Mingyue.
As I returned to the X12, I looked at Murong Mingyue and asked, "Are you hurt anywhere? Tell me right now. Are you bleeding heavily from any wound? Do you think you fractured any of your bones?"
Murong Mingyue closed her eyes and shifted the car seat down as she reclined in it. She muttered, "No, I only feel really tired. I just want to rest for a while."
"I’ll bring you to the hospital!"
I quickly turned the X12 around. I was unable to get onto the other side of the expressway so I had no choice but to break the rules and go against the flow of traffic. This was an extremely dangerous thing to do on the expressway so I opened my emergency warning lights and I kept flashing my headlights to warn oncoming vehicles. Was this reckless? Yes. Was this dangerous? Extremely. But I didn’t think I had any choice in the matter. Getting Murong Mingyue to the hospital as quickly as possible was the only thing on my mind right now!
Beep! Beep! BEEEEP!
Drivers blared their horns at me as I drove recklessly down the road like a lawless asshole. Countless drivers glared at me as they flipped me the bird, but I had no choice but to bow my head apologetically and drive on by. Murong Mingyue’s safety was worth it.
As I glanced at the peacefully sleeping Murong Mingyue, I chuckled softly and said, "Sis, I’m gonna bring you home…"
Murong Mingyue didn’t say anything, but two silent tears coursed down her cheeks.
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